money trails

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Aug 29, 2006

In New Jersey there are rumors that Newark's Archbishop John Myers is the leading candidate to head the Detroit archdiocese, which traditionally brings a red hat. The archbishop's spokesman says that the rumors are coming from Detroit, but what we hear comes from Newark, and the chatty Rocco traces the story back to Archbishop Myers himself. Interesting.

Now, while contemplating that, consider:

Recently I wondered aloud whether last year's abrupt resignation of Cleveland's Bishop Pilla might be connected to this year's indictment of the top financial officer in the Cleveland diocese. That indictment, you'll recall, alleges a fraudulent scheme involving over $700,000, and now there are claims that the bishop knew about the scheme. The sum involved here is $784,000.

In Newark, last year, the office of Catholic Charities was charged with a Medicaid-reimbursement fraud that involved $40 million.

Not only did the agency's former chief financial officer plead guilty last month to fraud, but Catholic Charities now needs to repay the government tens of millions of dollars it received in those years, plus interest.

So under the leadership of Archbishop Myers, the Newark archdiocese-- which has had to close down parishes and schools to help make ends meet-- is gradually paying back $40 million to Uncle Sam.

There is, of course, no evidence at all that Archbishop Myers was aware of the Medicaid fraud. But if Catholic Charities had pulled in an undeserved $40 million-- not an insignificant sum on any archdiocesan balance sheet-- and the head of the archdiocese didn't recognize a problem, then that's a problem.

If an alleged $784,000 scam is enough to push a bishop into retirement, you'd have to think that a confessed $40 million scam would at least be enough to keep an ambitious prelate in New Jersey.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 17, 2010 1:14 AM ET USA

    'Fraid you lost me on the last part. Are you referring to the failings of Arthur Andersen, the US government, the federal reserve, or bloated bureaucracy at the USCCB?

  • Posted by: rpp - Nov. 16, 2010 1:47 PM ET USA

    The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is NOT a club with rules that come and go. No, God gave us His Church to lead us to Him and provide the means of personal salvation.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Nov. 15, 2010 3:01 PM ET USA

    Exactly what you're thinking.